At my first glance of Anita Getler, I saw an elegant and petite woman walking toward me, shining her radiant smile in my direction. Within the first couple words we exchanged, the tone of the evening became lighter and more casual, as if we had been friends all our lives and this was a customary event. One of the most extraordinary human beings I have ever met, Anita Getler’s humbleness changed my own personal outlook on life.
Her positive attitude didn’t change when she was diagnosed with cancer; instead it became a path to a new outlook on life. In February of 2006, doctors discovered a five pound GIST tumor after complaints of tiredness and a painful backache. By March of 2006, Anita had her first and only surgery. As she was exiting the hospital for the first time, she saw a blade of grass and admired it as many would a precious jewel. Her admiration for the blade of grass grew out of the new eyes she began to see the world through. It was a moment that has always stuck with her, a beginning. As even today, Anita looks at everything as if it were the first time, but without naivety.
She draws inspiration from her two daughters, granddaughter and sister and shows genuine gratitude to the “magic pill”, Gleevec, for the opportunity to be able to be part of their growth and to see them develop and embrace the different roles they will take on in life.
Anita works full-time as a receptionist in a botanical company that assists in microbiological research. In her free time she enjoys playing tennis, visiting with her daughters and granddaughter, practicing yoga (which she says helps with scanxiety, the common anxiety a patient might come to feel before going for a scan or awaiting the results), dancing and riding motorcycles. It was a truly uplifting experience meeting Anita Getler. Her raw happiness is contagious and her motivation is fueled by the desire to continue experiencing life independently and happily, which deserves glorification and praise.